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Social-interest co. Nilus inserts itself into Puerto Rico’s COVID-19 outbreak response

Nilus, a startup that promotes health and sustainable food for low-income populations, confirmed it has been actively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in Puerto Rico, where it has been delivering goods to nonprofits.

Since establishing its project in Puerto Rico in November 2019, it has participated in several “rescue” missions, collecting surplus products, such as milk, from local producers Suiza Dairy and Tres Monjitas, said Karina Campos, COO of Nilus.

“We’re a social-interest company whose mission is to provide a solution to malnutrition and food waste in Puerto Rico and Latin America. We developed a digital platform with a delivery service included,” she said.

“Through our platform, we offer food to social organizations, at distributor or producer prices, or at discount prices — because they are close to their expiration date, have packaging, cosmetic or excess stock defects — but they are of high quality,” she said.

Nilus applies crowdsourcing methods and geo-location technologies to connect food donors, community kitchens, and social organizations in need with drivers. The company markets and delivers food at an affordable cost, operating as a service between food producers or distributors and community kitchens.

Last week, the group picked up some 1,513 containers — 1,320 from Tres Monjitas and 193 from Suiza Dairy — of individually-packaged milk in bags, which the group said added up to more than 108,936 units. They were delivered to 15 entities with soup kitchens, Nilus’ Communications Director Alejandra Peña.

“Our company generates a social impact by improving the nutrition of low-income people, environmental impact by avoiding greenhouse gas emissions from wasted food and an economic impact by generating work for drivers and the operating team,” said Campos.

Nilus has been working in Argentina for two years, where so far, it has delivered more than two million plates of food, she said.

The project is part of the seventh generation of the Parallel18 business accelerator in Puerto Rico and has already participated in the Harvard Innovation Labs program.

In addition, it has the support of World Central Kitchen, Marriott International and The Clinton Foundation. In 2019, it won the SAP Social Innomarathon and Fast Company selected it as one of the “World Changing Ideas” winners for its pursuit of innovation for the good of society and the planet.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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